Operation: Take-Out • Smoked Pork Rib Feast for Two from Minnesota Barbecue Co.

Smoked pork ribs, coleslaw, baked beans, and mac 'n' cheese from Minnesota Barbecue Co. // Photo by Tony Saunders

Smoked pork ribs, coleslaw, baked beans, and bacon mac and cheese from Minnesota Barbecue Co. // Photo by Tony Saunders

Each week, Operation: Take-Out brings you specially crafted meals for two with ideal beverage pairings from your favorite local restaurants. We’d like to thank Hop & Barrel Brewing for their underwriting support in the month of June.

THE RESTAURANT: This week’s pork rib feast hails from Minnesota Barbecue Co., a Northeast Minneapolis-based shop at the forefront of Minnesota’s recent barbecue revolution.

Owner Kale Thome explains that Minnesota BBQ Co. marries the traditional fire-plus-meat process at the heart of barbecue with some of the relentless culinary innovation he picked up while working with the Travail group for years. “The playful side comes in with the process,” he says. “We’ve taken a bit more [of a] broken-down approach to it. We don’t just have a basic rub, each ingredient is playfully manipulated and the ratio of things we do is there for a purpose.”

THE MEAL:  The heart of Minnesota Barbecue Company’s meal is a whole rack of pork ribs, cooked until the meat is tender and nearly slides off the bone. “If it’s cooked properly you shouldn’t have to work for that meat, it should be easy to clean a bone,” says Thome. “But if you pick up one of our racks of ribs it’s not just going to turn into nothing and pull really easily. You can hold a bone and the rack will stick together.”

The meal also includes a generous portion of fan-favorite bacon mac and cheese, which is off the current menu (“People are always like: When are you going to bring that back? When’s it coming back?” says Thome), the restaurant’s signature beans, and house-made apple and fennel coleslaw.

While Minnesota Barbecue Co. can’t sell the beer on-site, they suggest visiting Pig Ate My Pizza to purchase a Crowler or two of the brewpub’s Grapefruit Cream Ale to pair along this rib feast. (Beer is not included in the dinner package.)

Meals are pre-order only and available for pick-up on June 11. No substitutions, ticket sales will close on June 10 at 12pm CST. No refunds after 12pm CST on June 10. 

Hop & Barrel Brewing Co., located in downtown Hudson, Wisconsin, takes a modern approach to classic beers. Hop & Barrel is best known for its clean and classic Minnesconsin Helles, its wide variety of IPAs, and the innovative brewing behind its true-to-flavor Lemon Breaker Shandy and Paul & Babe’s Breakfast Ale. Regardless of your taste, Hop & Barrel brews a little something for everyone!